Last minute flea-flicker wins it for Brahmas
Nov. 16, 2013 at 5:16 a.m.
LA VERNIA - Hallettsville juniors Nate Kowalik and Trenton McGee have known each another since the eighth grade.
That familiarity paid off Friday night.
With less than a minute left in regulation, and the score tied at 35-35, Kowalik made a simple hand off to his running back.
But instead of just running out the clock, Kaden Hardt tossed the ball back to Kowalik, who threw to a wide open McGee for the game-winning 44-yard touchdown pass.
Lago Vista wasn't able to do answer with just 15 seconds left to play and Hallettsville (11-0) kept its championship hopes alive with a 41-35 win.
"I know it's going to get there, and he's going to trust me to go up there and get it," McGee said about catching Kowalik's pass. "We're here to play."
The Brahmas will face Jourdanton in the area round next week.
Kowalik, who threw for 352 yards Friday, does not worry about making tough passes like the one he made to win the game.
"We practice that everyday at the end of practice," Kowalik said. "This is probably one of the greatest games we played together as a team. It just means a lot to all of us. It's the toughest test we had all year for us."
Coming into the fourth quarter, the Brahmas trailed the Vikings 28-21. For the Brahmas, it was the third time all season that they trailed in a game. The other two were against Yoakum and Edna.
But the Brahams, as coach Tommy Psencik has explained all season, did not panic in tough situations.
"We knew Lago (Vista) was going to be a good ball club," Psencik said. "It was going to be a semifinal match in the first round and that's what it was. We work on (throwing) everyday."
The Vikings scrapped up 297 yards rushing against the No. 7 Class 2A ranked Brahmas.
The Brahmas struck first scoring in the second quarter with three touchdown passes, one of which went to junior Jimario Grounds.
Grounds knew the Vikings would try to contain him. But he was still able to catch a pass to set up McGee's game-winning catch two plays later.
"Coach said they were backing off a bit. We knew all our receivers had to run short routes," Grounds said, "We fought threw the pain and stuff. We just played with our hearts."
Psencik said his team had to rise to the challenge Friday to stay alive in the playoffs.
"This is what we work for," he said. "A lot of prayers go into this one."
McGee, who received hugs from fans and teammates was glad to play another game.
The win, however, will be short lived.
"(Saturday) morning, we start watching film of Jourdanton, and figure out what we need to do," McGee said.